Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 4:15pm
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Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge

Social Justice and the New Food Activism

Lecture by Julie Guthman, 2017–2018 Frances B. Cashin Fellow, Radcliffe Institute; professor of social sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz.

The alternative food movement has been tremendously successful at raising awareness of many of the public health and ecological consequences of the conventional food system. Yet, as many critics have noted, market-based alternatives have done very little to undermine industrially-produced food; nor have they resonated much with poor people and communities of color. In the last decade or so, a new food activism has emerged, one that is more contentious, more collective, and more inclusive.

In this talk, Guthman will discuss the origins and development of the food movement in order to explain how it came to focus on marked based alternatives and also to show how it has evolved response to critique. Shen will then discuss three cases that reflect a new food activism, with particular focus on the battle against methyl bromide in strawberry production.

Guthman is a recipient of the Excellent in Research Award from the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society. Her first book, Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in California, was awarded the Donald Q. Innis Award from the Rural Geography Speciality Group of the Association of American Geographers and the Frederick H. Buttel Award for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement from the Rural Sociological Society. Her second book, Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism, earned the James E. Blaut Award for Innovative Publication from the Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers and the Association for the Study of Food and Society Book Award. She has recently finished her third book, The New Food Activism: Opposition, Cooperation, and Collective Action. 

To learn more and to register, visit

The event is free and open to the public. We encourage you to share this invitation with people you know who may be interested in attending this event.


Contact Name: 

Kevin Thurwanger

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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